Online Magazine: Edition 6
Welcome to the Sixth Edition of the Online Magazine of the Thornleigh Seventh-day Adventist Church
- Pastor's Piece - What God is Like
- The Three Members of the Godhead
- A History of the Christian Church - Part Four
- The Great Controversy between God and Satan
WHEN DID GOD GIVE THE LAW?
by Norman Tew
Every year Orthodox Jews celebrate the time when God gave the Law to Moses. Written on two tables of stone, with his own hand, the Ten Commandments have held a high place in the thinking of both Jews and Christians. God also told Moses many other rules for successful living and these Moses wrote down and are now incorrectly called the laws of Moses.
But God must have revealed His Law before this. When God was talking to Isaac several centuries earlier He said, "Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws" Genesis 26:5. And he must be talking of more than the Ten Commanments, for Abraham knew about the rule of Tithing, which is one of the "laws of Moses". See Genesis 14:20 and Leviticus 27:30-32.
We can go back even further. When God was giving instructions to Noah about what animals to take into the ark, God told him to make a difference between the animals that were clean and those that were not. See Genesis 7:1-4. Another rule that is not explained in the Bible before the "laws of Moses".
Even before that we find Abel making an animal sacrifice. This is repeated by Noah, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, but the first explanation of sacrifices is again in the "laws of Moses".
So when did God give His Laws to men? I believe it must have been in Eden. We usually think that God gave Adam and Eve only one rule; that they must not eat the fruit of the forbidden tree. Genesis 2:16-17. However, careful thought brings us to the conclusion that God set out at least one of the Ten Commandments, if not two, in the creation week itself.
The obvious example is that of the fourth commandment for God blesses the Sabbath day and hallowed it on the seventh-day of creation week. Genesis 2:2-3. The less obvious example is that of the seventh commandment.
The seventh commandment reads "Thou shalt not commit adultery". Exodus 20:14. If you go back again to creation in Genesis 2:22-24 there is the story of the creation of Eve, and the end of the story reads, "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh". While the wording is different, surely the becoming "one flesh", implies that there shall be no adultery.
Other examples could be given, but it seems clear to me that the laws that God gave to guide us in right living, have been in existence from the creation of man.
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